March PS Vita System Update To Remove Maps and Reduce Near Functionality


As revealed in their FAQ, Sony Computer Entertainment have confirmed that the next major update to the PS Vita’s firmware scheduled for March will see the removal of the Maps app from the system along with some features of the Near app being removed or limited in functionality. While this is a surprising move to see features being removed from the PS Vita rather than added to it, in this case it does make sense to us with the advent of the PlayStation TV and the 2000 series PS Vita as both Maps and Near were functions primarily dependent on the Vita’s GPS for their functionality.

In terms of the update itself, Maps will be disabled completely (although Sony have suggested that other mapping services can still be used via the web browser), and Near is losing the use of it’s map function and location acquisition. At the moment Sony have not commented on other aspects of Near being removed such as the ability to send gaming gifts to other players but as location information was a key part of the apps functionality we do not know how this will continue to work in future.

It’s unclear as to whether or not other apps and functions of the PS Vita’s system software will be updated shortly that currently make use of the GPS or use network access to reflect the release of the PSTV or 2000 series Vita but we will keep you posted.


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About Simon Plumbe 1056 Articles
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I'm an animal lover and vegetarian. Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee:


  1. Well “near” is rubbish anyway… I use it all the time, but only to “see” whom around me is playing the same or similar games.

    Those game-gifts?

    I could count the games for which I have received them on one hand, and the actual game gifts I have received has been, maybe thirty under a “best-case” scenario.

    I do wonder however, what “near” will be used for in the future?

    Your article implies that “near” will remain, with the location-based functionality removed – as this is a “core” part of “near”, it begs the question, “What will this application actually do in the future?”

  2. Near has been a strange one for me. Since we moved to Wales it’s actually struggled to understand where we live – I’ve got the wi-fi model of the Vita and even though every other device running through our route knows we live in Wales, 99% of the time the Vita seems to think that it’s still back in Lichfield so it finds local people there rather than others nearby… which is incredibly frustrating because fellow Vita Player writer Ben only lives two doors away from me in the same street!

    As for Game Goods, I’ve had quite a few unlockables for Super Stardust Delta and other bits but nothing spectacular to the point that I seldom use it either. If the game goods were integrated into the Friends system I wouldn’t miss it at all.

    My real gripe on the location side of things is PlayStation Mobile. Because of the need of PSM to perform license verification checks continually, I’m unable to play most of my PlayStation Mobile games on the move because my Vita can’t connect to PSN when I’m out.

Got any thoughts on this? Let us know!